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Salivary glands


Reviewer: Fatima Aly, M.D., NIH
Revised: 31 July 2010, last major update July 2010
Copyright: (c) 2004-2010, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Derive from oral mucosa
● Arise in weeks 5-6 of embryonic life
● Parotid gland primordia (anlage) arises in weeks 5-6 from ectoderm, followed by submandibular gland primordia in week 6 from endoderm, then sublingual gland primordia in weeks 7-8 from endoderm
● Intraoral minor salivary glands develop during third month
● Primordia develop from primitive oral cavity (stomodeum) as buds, which proliferate as cords, form terminal bulbs, develop clefts and further proliferate as branches from original cord; then process is repeated
● Lumens form in epithelial cords and progress to terminal bulbs; cells differentiate into various ducts and acini

● Connective tissue diminishes with maturation, as do myoepithelial cells
● Parotid buds may penetrate intraparotid lymph nodes; rare with submandibular or sublingual structures



AFIP Figure 1-2:
Left: the origin of the parotid gland, submandibular gland and sublingual gland from the epithelial lining of the primitive stomodeum is illustrated in the schematic drawing of the oral cavity of a 9-week-old embryo.
Right: photomicrograph in section through fetal tongue, linguogingivalgroove and buccal mucosa shows the proliferative epithelial cord of the developing parotid gland (arrow).


AFIP Figure 1-3:
Left: the primitive epithelial ducts and tubules are mostly undifferentiated and within a very loose, but moderately cellular, fibrous stroma in a 25-week-old fetus.
Right: at high magnification, the terminal tubules are a double layer of epithelial cells. The outer layer will differentiate into myoepithelial and basal cells, and the inner cells will become ductal and serous acinar cells.

End of Salivary glands > Embryology

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